Africa is a continent full of contrasts. First world influences mix with the third world life. Habits, expectations and work attitudes are completely different from Europe, America, Asia or Australia. Tourists are normally seen as rich and their money is highly wanted.
In Africa, people always seem to have a special deal for everyone. If it's for a wooden giraffe on the market, a car you want to hire or that inexpensive hotel room (that might be right next to the elevator that will keep you awake all night). There are great bargains available in this beautiful and fascinating continent. But not every cheap deal is necessarily a good deal.
Be aware of extremely cheap prices and special arrangements! In the end, it might work out much more expensive than the normal price. Always ensure that you read the fine print! Are there any hidden charges you don't know of? Have you been told what the amount of your own share for your car insurance will be? Do you know that you have to pay a specific amount of money yourself before the insurances takes over the rest of the costs for a broken window or bump in your door?
Did the contract mention that you have to refill the petrol before delivering your car back to the agency? If you rent a wonderfully cheap car - who will pay the repair if it breaks down after 1 kilometre or has to be towed? Have you been told that you can't even hire a car without being in possession of a credit card? Did someone advise you about medical insurance? Do you know that you have to pay a doctor in advance and only get money back later?
Are you aware of different room categories in hotels? Do you know what the term 'sea view' actually describes? Will you see the splashing waves of the ocean or maybe just look in its direction - with a big palm tree hindering your sight?
If you book accommodation for an exciting city getaway on your own, do you know what the best restaurants are in the area around your hotel? Do you have an idea of where to go or what to do? Do you know that you might have to pay for a bottle in the mini bar even though you have had nothing to drink, but simply because you had lifted it a bit to see what the label is.Avoid negative surprises, inform yourself and trust a specialist who will always give you the best deal - not necessarily the cheapest one - but with the best value for money. Remember, cheaper is not always better! The cheap deal can turn out to cost an enormous amount of money. Hidden charges can blow up your budget and ruin your dream vacation tremendously.